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A pattern describes a solution to conflicting forces, to quote ChristopherAlexander, "in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice."
Christopher ALEXANDER was writing primarily about architecture, construction, and urban/regional planning -- how people organize their environment. His ideas about patterns have been applied to software development by WardCunningham and others.
Patterns are one of the main reasons for wiki wiki.
See CategoryAntiPattern for commonly used patterns of behavior that often produce undesirable results.
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